U.S.-based employers announced plans to cut 60,587 jobs from their payrolls in March, down 21% from the 76,835 cuts announced in February. Despite the decline, last month’s cuts in the Automotive and Energy sectors added to the highest quarterly total of the last 14 quarters, according to a report released Thursday from global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

First quarter cuts totaled 190,410, 10.3% higher than the 172,601 cuts announced in the final quarter of 2018 and 35.6% higher than the 140,379 announced in the same quarter last year. It is the highest quarterly total since Q3 2015, when 205,759 cuts were announced. It is also the highest first quarter total since 2009, when 562,510 cuts were recorded.

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